You’re Probably Using Your Can Opener Wrong—Here’s The Best Way

I was (ahem) years old when I learned the right way to use a can opener. Many of us pop the blade of the can opener through the top of the can, holding the opener vertically, twisting around, and removing the top. But that top invariably falls into the now-open can and you’re left trying to dig it out with a knife or other utensil, or even sacrificing your fingers to the sharp edges of the top.

Julie Eignemann shows viewers on TikTok a better, safer way to get that top off.

In the video, Eignemann positions the opener on top of the can horizontally with the blade on the outside of the can, clamping down on the side of the can instead of the inside of the lid. Twist the opener clockwise all the way around the can.

“Voila!” Eignemann said in her video. “Instead of having to peel off the top and potentially cutting yourself, you’ll have a nice clean cut that will come off attached to your can opener.”

It took a few tries for me, but I finally got the hang of it. There’s no sharp edge on the lid and no digging in tomato sauce or bean juice to get the lid out. And, the can doesn’t move around as much as it does using the opener the other (wrong) way.

One fan responded to Eignemann’s TikTok saying, “This is how you’re supposed to do it. My great grandma was a lunch lady and she taught me this way. That’s why there’s a magnet.”

Others argued that the horizontal method left sharp edges on the can instead of on the top. “Nope. No sharp edge at all. It pulls the metal inwards, that’s why,” Eignemann said in a response to one poster.

“Just do what works for u. U do u. This 1 works 4 me (sic),” she added.

It works for me, too!

And who doesn’t love kitchen tools that can do more than one job? In another of Eignemann’s TikToks, she shows viewers that can openers aren’t just for opening cans. You know the hard plastic packaging that usually takes dynamite to open? Try using your handy dandy can opener next time.

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